Here’s a great story. Johnny Depp says Disney executives weren’t terribly happy with his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. It was a little too flamboyant for their taste. He said that one person even asked if Sparrow was gay. Depp told the Disney executives “all of my characters are gay,” which made them really nervous. I have nothing to add to this story. It pretty much stands on its own.
Sad news, people, legendary actor Leslie Nielsen has died at the tender age of 84. The first part of his career was spent doing serious rolls on television and in movies. He had a very respectable career doing these rolls. He is probably better known these days for his comedic work in screwball comedies, of which he had another career’s worth later in life. He was in his 50s when he was cast in “Airplane,” which came out in 1980. The producers of the film had the idea of casting a bunch of known serious actors in rolls where they could parody themselves. It worked beautifully. They then cast Nielsen in the short lived television series “Police Squad.” It didn’t go over big with television executives but did pretty well on the big screen as the “Naked Gun” movies. This led to a string of work in other whacky films. Leslie Nielsen died from complications from pneumonia. He left behind quite a catalog of works to remember him by. I miss him already.
A new book about Michael Jackson is coming out. The author claims that the singer’s death was a conspiracy. People wanted him dead and they paid his doctor to do the job. I am here to refute these claims. I know for a fact that Michael Jackson is still alive. He is living on a small, remote island in the South Pacific with Elvis Presley. They spend their days eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches and hosting pajama parties for the native boys. If you don’t believe that one, maybe you’ll buy this next one. He was abducted by aliens. No, wait, he is an alien. That would explain his strange appearance there at the end. The procedure that had given him a human appearance was slowly losing its effect on him and his features were returning back to normal. The aliens that were supposed to pick him up had been delayed and Michael had been forced to remain on Earth much longer than he should have. My book on the subject will be coming out soon. I hope you will buy it. It’s all true, I tell you. All true.
Here’s a shock, Willie Nelson was charged with marijuana possession. U.S. Border Patrol agents nabbed him and two others at a checkpoint in Seirra Blanca, Texas about 9 a.m. on Friday. It seems that an officer smelled the aroma of the burning weed when a door was opened. A search turned up 6 ounces of the offending substance. Nelson claimed that the marijuana was his. I am just floored by this. You think you know someone and they turn out to be pot smoking hippy freaks. The next thing you know, he’ll be arrested for evading taxes or something. Of course, you’d have thought that it would have dawned on someone that a border checkpoint probably wouldn’t be the best place to fire up a fatty.
Has Kanye West heard that the winner of the coveted Dumbass of the Year Award hasn’t been decided yet? He recently did some campaigning for the title by going into a Taylor Swift rant during one of his concerts. He wanted the people to know that his latest album was still a success despite him being a victim of the Taylor Swift backlash. I think at this point his audience has grown accustomed to his minor dumbass events and just ignore them, as long as he keeps producing music that is worth listening to. If he puts out a turkey that no one buys, then they will blame it on his minor achievements of dumbassery rather than the fact that his latest work sucks. Kanye has so far not committed a major feat of dumbass that would adversely affect his sales and his audience has not yet become bored with him. So far Kanye West has only come up with a few shake your head, what has he been smoking moments. He needs to do a whole lot better than this if he expects to win the Dumbass of the Year Award. This doesn’t even get him a nomination.
Let me tell you what I miss most about Thanksgiving. Years ago there was a show called “Mystery Science Theatre 3000.” The premise was that this janitor at a lab, Joel, was shot into space by a mad scientist. He was stuck on this space station that was orbiting around the Earth. The mad scientist forced him to watch bad movies and recorded his reactions. He couldn’t stop the movies because he’d used those parts to make his robot friends. Sure, it was a ridiculous premise, but it worked. They showed movies that were either in the public domain or that they could pick up real cheap. As the movie played you would see the dark image of Joel and the robots sitting in a row of seats in front of the movie. They would make smart-assed remarks throughout the movie. It was a lot of fun to watch and I’m sure most people have wanted to do the same thing at times. The show started out on the Comedy Channel or Comedy Central, whichever one it happened to be at that time. One year they decided to have Turkey Day on Thanksgiving and ran a “Mystery Science Theatre 3000” marathon all day long. When the show was later picked up by Sci Fi (now Sy Fy for whatever reason) they decided to continue the Turkey Day tradition. The years when my mother would go north to visit other relatives on Thanksgiving were the best. That meant that I was not obligated to make an appearance and could stay at home and watch Turkey Day all day long. “Mystery Science Theatre 3000” has been off the air for quite a few years now. I think it would fit in perfectly with the current Sy Fy. There is no reason why they couldn’t bring back Joel and his robot friends to spend Turkey Day watching the movies they are currently showing. Their current movies uphold that fine quality that made Turkey Day possible. I miss Turkey Day.
Randy Quaid says that if it weren’t for Canada’s refugee laws that he and his wife Evi would be dead. Those infamous star whackers would have gotten them by now if they hadn’t fled from the creditors and charges in the United States to seek asylum in Canada. They feel safe there. Like it would be a major difficulty for a star whacker to sneak across the border and whack them in Canada. The only thing they are safe from is prosecution under California law. The hearings on his refugee status are still not finished. We’ll see what happens if he gets deported back to the United States. The laugh will be on us if the star whackers actually do get him. Won’t we all feel stupid then?
Do you like music? Do you like adventure? Do you like musical adventures? I’ve been on one for a few years now. It’s called emusic.com. I’ve been a member of the site for several years now, and it’s been well worth it. I have watched it change and grow over the years, but its focus is still on independent music. You will find lots of interesting music here that you won’t find on other sites. My musical interests tend to lean more toward the harder edged, guitar oriented rock, but they have music to fit any taste. Exploring the site can be a daunting task, since they have a huge and ever growing catalog of music to choose from. Don’t be afraid. You will find a lot of stuff you don’t like, but the good stuff is worth the effort. I have found the best way to approach emusic is to check out the new music every day. I go to the new on emusic tab and then the freshly ripped, narrowing it down to the genre I prefer and then seeing if there is anything interesting just in. You can peruse their catalog when you get a spare minute. There is a lot to peruse. I’ve never gotten through all of it. If you’re a member, you can rate each album when you sample it. If you run across the recording again, your rating will be there, so you know you’ve already heard it and what you thought of it. When you find something you really like you can save it for later. The hard part for me every month is narrowing down my choices to what I am actually going to download. There are different priced memberships that give you different amounts to spend each month. This is your chance to learn how to use a budget. Although there are booster packs available if there is just too much that you absolutely have to have. Your available downloads are essentially unlimited. Like anywhere else, it depends on what you want to spend. Emusic’s prices tend to be cheaper than what you will find on other sites. Some of the highlights of music that I have found are: There is lots of Heavy Metal in Europe these days. Black Debbath from Norway is a favorite. Much of their music is in their native language, but there is some in English. They seem to approach things the way I do, with a sense of humor. “Mongo Norway” has some undeniably catchy guitar work in it. That was the song that first got my attention. Hellfueled has a singer that sounds a lot like Ozzy, but their music is their own. I don’t usually care much for the vocal stylings of Death Metal. You know what I mean? They’re trying to sound like the devil or something; that Brian Johnson with a cold after eating shards of glass sound. Epica has a male singer who sings in this style, although he is only heard occasionally. Most of the vocal work is done by a female lead singer with an operatic inspired sound. (This style of singing also seems to be big in European Heavy Metal. It can get a little old and hard to listen to in some cases.) The contrast of these two different sounds seems to work in Epica’s case and leads to some very interesting music. There is also German guitarist Axel Rudi Pell, who started out in the band Steeler back in the 80s and has quite a catalog of work with his self named band since leaving them in 1988. There is Gotthard, whose singer sadly died recently in an accident while vacationing in America. From Japan we have the Go5 Girls, an all girl rock band that really rocks. I’ve been surprised by how many different all girl bands there are out there that can rock as hard as any of the guys. There are lots of great bands right here in the United States that are working the bar circuit and have albums out on independent labels. Some of them are just as good as the big names, but just haven’t had the luck or whatever else it takes to hit the big time and get major radio play. One of my favorites is the Texas trio Tia Carrera (the actress with a similar name is not involved) who is just plain not radio friendly. They mostly just get together and jam, which seems to work for them. In the last year or so emusic has also added a lot of major labels to their catalog. So even if you aren’t looking for the independents, there is plenty of music here that you have definitely heard of to choose from, and at a cheaper price than you will find at other sites. I have been able to reacquaint myself with a lot of great music that I haven’t heard in a while, and even some I didn’t pay that much attention to before. The one band I have been waiting and wondering if they are ever going to get is KISS, my first musical inspiration as a youth. I have all of their work on cds (not including the 9000 best of collections) that I downloaded and burned years ago. I have been through a few computers since then and the cds were damaged by a portable player I had that put a groove at a point toward the end of each one of them so there are a couple of songs on each one that I can’t listen to anymore. It always seems to be some of the best songs. They are finally at emusic. You cannot imagine my excitement. I will probably pick them up two or three albums at a time until I finally have them all replaced. Sorry this has been a little long winded, but I wanted to give them the positive endorsement I thought they deserved. They also have plans for audio books, if you are so inclined. If you like music, go to www.emusic.com and have a look. Looking is free.
A celebrity jeweler is suing Courtney Love for $114,000, claiming she borrowed some pieces back in September and hasn’t returned them all. The report is that she says she lost the pieces she hasn’t returned. I have a few questions about this story. What with Courtney’s fine reputation, why would anyone loan her anything, especially jewelry? This is kind of asking for trouble, isn’t it? And does celebrity mean that you aren’t required to be accountable for your actions? You lose some jewelry worth over $100,000 and you just blow it off. “Oh, I lost it.” Any normal person would be crapping in their pants. You’d think she would have immediately apologized and tried to make up for it in some way; offer and endorsement, find some way to make up for it or maybe actually pay for the piece. Ah, but I forget. These aren’t the kinds of rocks she’s used to paying for.
Are you tired of hearing about Justin Bieber yet? The American Music Awards were held last night. I had the pleasure of riding with someone to lunch today, listening to the local classic rock station. The DJ was complaining about the winners of the awards, most of them being Justin Bieber. If you are over 35, these award shows are apparently not interested in your opinions on anything, at least according to the DJ. There is probably some truth to that. It may not be intentional, however, it’s just the way things work out. Let me explain. The biggest consumers of music are most likely between the ages of 15 and 30. When you are a teenager you develop an interest in music. It tends to be a very important part of your life. I had over 300 albums before I was 18. As you get into your 20s and go to college and/or start a family you try to hang onto this interest in music, but this tends to become more and more difficult as other things, such as studies and keeping your family alive, take up more and more of your time. By the time you get into your 30s music has dropped way down on your list of importance. You listen to the radio on your way to and from work, possibly at work, only buying something new occasionally when something really strikes you. You tend to listen to the old stuff from your heyday and shake your head when you hear the new stuff your kids are listening to. The awards shows tend to pay more attention to what is being bought by people and, yes, the people who are spending the most money on music are the kids. Look on the bright side. Justin Bieber is a pop star. The lifetime of pop stars tends to be pretty short. Unless he can find a way to make the transition to adult stardom, he will most likely disappear in a few years, when his fan base outgrows him. When he hits his twenties, he could be desperate for someone to listen to him. Unless he has sense enough to sit on some of the money he is making right now, the big story in his adult life could be him filing for bankruptcy, or even worse. I could see him doing gay porn.